Couples with solid financial strategies have a better chance at domestic tranquility: here are some money management tools to make miracles happen.
When the Math Equals Division
We’ve all seen stats on the causes of divorce – money is usually in the top three. And it isn’t always lack of funds, though that kind of stress does take its toll. When married couples hold different opinions about what has value, it can create a lot of conflict.
A study by “Money Magazine” says that 70 percent of married couples fight more about money than snoring, chores, sex and deciding what’s for dinner. And finance site “Magnify Money” did a national survey of divorced adults finding that one-third of the highest earners cited money as the cause of their breakup. Research showed that the younger the couple, the more likely money played a part in the breakdown of the marriage.
Debt is a big problem, and men and women in crumbling marriages are likely to see it worsen after they split up. Between attorney costs and other expenses, almost a quarter of the people who reported that poor money management ended their marriages said the resulting debt totaled $20,000 or more.
Modern Money Mindset
If your vows included “for richer or poorer,” you probably find household finances an important topic to sort out. Most married couples report being on the same page about money, according to a study by Ameriprise Financial, however, those who aren’t aligned with their partners find the topic too hard to talk about.
At least one-third of couples have disagreements about money at least once a month, so even smooth sailors are a work in progress. The logical next step is to find successful solutions.
Unlike the rules of dependence from 20th century marriages, modern American couples are increasingly maintaining separate bank accounts. Millennials are marrying later, so they typically have accounts and patterns in place when they move in together or tie the knot. They like the feeling of autonomy that comes with control over money matters. Young women today want to be sure they have financial equality with men, whether they’re in a relationship or not. Before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, some American women couldn’t even establish credit, but their husbands could.
How To MYOB (Mind Your Own Bucks)
Whichever side of the aisle you’re on (bride or groom), you can utilize digital banking to help with marital money matters. You don’t need a credit score like Bill Gates, or an existing bank account at a brick-and-mortar institution to have access to the FDIC insured e-wallet account.
When you and your spouse each open a digital banking account, you can do what approximately half of couples do – keep separate accounts for everyday spending needs, while maintaining the joint bank account you already had.
Next, you can decide which deposits go toward common expenses, such as housing and groceries, and determine how to divvy up discretionary spending.
For instance, you can each have direct deposit into your own digital banking account and transfer a designated amount to your joint account for savings and other expenses, leaving your excess funds for your own pleasures and treasures.
The beauty is that if just one of you chooses to set up direct deposit, or one of you falls a bit short on funds, you can transfer funds from one account to another instantly to fill each others’ accounts. Nothing says “I love you” like a last minute money transfer.
However you fund it, each of you now has a private account with cash value and the ability to enjoy independent spending options.
Apps associated with your digital bank help you track every transaction and keep an eye on your balance, so you minimize overspending, while reducing those pesky marital squabbles over shopping with friends, special spa days or golf games, etc.
And, if you select the right digital bank, you can shop with your account anywhere Visa or MasterCard is accepted, so there’s no more need for credit cards, and thus, you’re not accruing debt or fighting about it!
Most households have two incomes, but “dual” doesn’t have to lead to “duel.” The use of a digital banking account may or may not save a marriage, but it can help to harmonize one of the main enemies of wedded bliss.